Thunder newcomer Kevin Martin helps comprise the team's new “Big Three” alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but Martin took great pleasure in six OKC players scoring between 19 and 10 points in a 108-88 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“Oh, you need nights like that,” Martin said. “You're not going to always be able to beat teams with three guys and Serge (Ibaka) stepped up and Eric (Maynor) played well.”
Four Thunder players currently average in double figures with Durant and Westbrook at 20.8 ppg, Martin at 19.3 and Ibaka at 10.5.
BIG ‘O,' BIGGER ‘D'
Hasheem Thabeet had an impressive outing against the Raptors, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds while shooting 6 for 6 from the free-throw line and 2 for 2 from the field before fouling out.
However, teammate Nick Collison said Thabeet excelling on defense is even more beneficial.
“I thought that was really good,” Collison said of Thabeet's shooting, “but I thought his defense, defensive awareness, being where he was supposed to be, being active, was really big for us. That's going to be important for him. It's great when you can get buckets, but for him to really be a force defensively for us is a really good sign.”
After shooting 27.8 percent (5 for 18) from the field the first two games, Ibaka has shot 77.8 percent (14 for 18) the last two games and now stands at 52.8 percent on the season. … Durant ranks fifth in the league in rebounding at 12.3 per game. … Martin has missed one free throw (22 for 23), but ranks 21st in the league. Twenty players have yet to miss from the line (minimum two attempts per game). … Thabo Sefolosha is tied for 10th in 3-point percentage at .625, while Martin is 13th at .619. … The Thunder entered the Toronto game ranked last in the league in steals at 4.0 per game, but got 10 steals from eight different players against the Raptors.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks on Thabeet: “He does a good job of keeping himself in the play, staying in the play. He protects the rim. He protects the paint, he's starting to really do a fine job of understanding what we do defensively. I give him a lot of credit. He's worked. He has a great attitude every day. I thought he was all over the floor tonight.”
FOOD AND FUND
The Thunder will participate in Gov. Mary Fallin's “Feeding Oklahoma Food and Fund Drive,” and fans attending the game against Cleveland on Sunday are encouraged to drop off donations before the game.
Fans may deliver donations of nonperishable food items, such as canned goods, peanut butter and pasta, before the game to either of two tents on Reno Avenue, stationed near the northwest and northeast entrances of the arena. Volunteers will begin collecting items at 3 p.m. during the Thunder Alley pregame festivities.
Any fan who donates to the drive can enter a raffle to win Thunder prizes, including team-signed balls, player-autographed shoes and tickets to an upcoming Thunder home game. The donation drive will conclude when the game tips off at 6 p.m.
Homeland will match the donations that the Thunder collects on Sunday.
Brooks once again is helping feed hungry Oklahoma children by donating almonds to the Regional Food Bank through GiveBack2God, a nonprofit organization he co-founded in 2009 with friend Mike Kooyman.
Packages of almonds were distributed to chronically hungry elementary schoolchildren though the Regional Food Bank's Food for Kids Backpack Program. Since the partnership began in 2010, more than 37,000 pounds of almonds have been donated.
One in four children in Oklahoma struggles with hunger every day and research shows children living in food-insecure households have more difficulty concentrating in school than children in food-secure households.
The Backpack Program, which started in 2003, provides chronically hungry elementary schoolchildren with a backpack filled with nonperishable, kid-friendly food on weekends and holidays throughout the school year. Last school year, more than 13,500 students in 475 schools participated in the Backpack Program.